Introduction: How to Start Your Own Garden

Here you will be given 10 basic instructions on how to start your very own garden. No matter where you live, or how many people you need to feed, these basic steps will get you on your way to growing your own food.

Tools you will need:

1. shovel or hand trowel for digging

2. rake or cultivator for planting and pulling up weeds

3. gloves to protect your hands

4. watering hose or water can to water your plants

5. hoe or weeder for loosening topsoil layer for planting and removing weeds

Helpful Tip: For a small garden, only hand tools are recommended.

Step 1: Determine How Much Money You Can Spend

The first step to starting your garden is knowing what you can spend. You need to be able to buy the seeds or plants you want without taking money away from your other bills. You can get prices at your local garden centers; a few good places to look are Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

Tip: When you are trying to figure out how much to spend on plants and seeds make sure that you plan for at least two of what you want to grow.

Step 2: What Should I Plant?

Every family is different when it comes to the vegetables and fruits people prefer to eat. When you are planning your garden, be sure to plant things that you know your family will eat. In the long run, this will help you save money.

Step 3: Learn the Know-how About Your Plants

When you know what you want to plant in your garden, you will want to know if any of them have any extra needs. For example, if a plant needs extra water, make sure that you can supply the extra water the plant needs. You can find out about these extra requirements on the plant's price tag, the package of seeds, or on the plant's container.

Step 4: Choosing Your Type of Garden

Most of us have a limited amount of space for a garden so we have to think of ways to maximize the space we have. Some of us can have a flatbed garden, some a raised garden bed, and others can use hanging pots or window boxes. It all solely depends on your specific living situation and how much space you have to dedicate to your garden. Whatever you desire, it is possible to have your own personal garden.

Hint: If you are live in an apartment the window boxes and/or hanging pots work the best.

Step 5: Using Your Gardening Tools

As you saw in the intro, we gave a short list of some of the basic garden tools you will need for your garden. If you have a raised garden bed, or are using window boxes and/or hanging baskets, hand tools are ideal. For flatbed gardens, it is recommended for you to use long rakes, hoes, and shovels.

Step 6: !Warning! Weather Alert

When planning a garden, it is always important to plan ahead and think about the weather in your area. It will do you no good if you work hard to plant a garden, only for it to be wiped out. Here is a few places that might work to protect your garden:

1. against a fence

2. between your house and storage shed (if you have one)

3. or even up against the house itself

Also, keep in mind areas that you know flood. They can be good for tracking water drainage, but can destroy your plants!

Hint: If flood plain is unavoidable, use a raised garden bed.

Step 7: Thinking About Your Soil?

Now that you know what you want to plant, how much, and where, you need to look at the soil. No garden can be successful if the soil is poor, so you must be aware. In Lubbock, TX most of the time you will need to augment the soil with some type nutrient rich soil augment or fertilizer.

Hint: In the pictures above are a few options for soil enrichment; see also for more ideas

Step 8: Pests Be Gone!

One of the more pesky issues with planting a garden is how to protect your garden from harmful pests. Prevention is the best way to keep your garden free from ants, aphids, spiders, moths, etc. Going to your local gardening store, you can easily buy a cheap pest control spray that you can mix with water and pour over your plants to keep them pest free. There are also some herbs you can grow near your different vegetables and herbs that keep different pests away.

Hint: Read labels carefully, and do your research!

Good luck with pest control!

Step 9: Weeds No More!

In the case of weeds in your garden, they are in every square inch of soil; it is only the weeds in the first inch or two of soil that get enough light to grow. If you layer enough mulch in your garden soil, you can prevent weeds from growing. A recommended weekly weed check and removal will then be enough to help keep your garden free of those annoying weeds.

Step 10: Water, Water Everywhere!

As with all plants, you need to make sure they are getting enough water. It is important you make sure your garden is never flooded, and that you have a way to water your plants on a regular basis. If you have chosen a small garden, a simple water can is the best way. Have it full, and keep a place for it near your garden so you have water in a ready supply. If you have chosen a larger garden, a hose or sprinkler is recommended. Build a routine to water your garden on a regular basis so your plants are never thirsty.

Step 11: Weekly Check

The final step for your garden is to build a schedule for regular checks on your garden just to make sure everything is alright and your plants are growing well. You should also make a schedule to harvest your crops when they are ripe. If your fruits and/or vegetables are too ripe, they will rot and attract unwanted guests to the rotted produce and your other plants. Make it apart of your daily routine, like walking by your garden when coming home from work or asking your son/daughter to check over the garden when coming home from school.

Now, you are ready to start your own garden. Good Luck Gardening!